Leicester With the Kids
Museums, parks, adventure playgrounds; there’s loads of things to do with kids in Leicester. A unique and modern city, rich in arts, culture, sports and heritage, Leicester offers something of interest for all ages. So, while this is a good place to take the kids, adults will have a great time too. Explore somewhere new with your children this weekend and take the train to Leicester for a fun-filled family day out.
Climb & Get Creative at Goldhill Adventure Playground
Put down the iPads and let the kids get back to nature at Goldhill Adventure Playground. There are indoor and outdoor facilities where kids can express themselves creatively and test themselves physically.
By exploring the natural elements that make up the world (like earth, water, fire, wood, plants and animals), here children are encouraged to learn about how they can influence their environment. A giant playground is the main attraction. Here children can climb, play freely, make new friends and have fun whilst being supervised.
And it’s not all rough and tumble, as the playground offers many creative activities too. Dance, badge making, face painting, jewellery making and marbling are all popular activities at the playground.
Getting there: From Leicester Train Station, you can take the number 44 or 44A bus from Parvian Road which will take you to the playground in just over 25 minutes.
Get Ready for Lift-off at the Space Centre
Leicester’s award-winning Space Centre is one of our favourite museums in the UK and one of the best things to do with kids in Leicester.The whole family can enjoy an out-of-this-world experience, tanding at 42 metres high, the iconic rocket tower dominates Leicester’s skyline and rewards with terrific views across the city.
You can discover the largest planetarium dome in the UK and enjoy the 360-degree cinema experience, which takes you through our solar system. Six interactive galleries bring you face-to-face with astronauts and take you on a journey through the history of space.
If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a weather reporter, enter the weather pod to record yourself reading the teleprompter for a weather report in the year 2085, watch the impact of an asteroid collision and even create your own soundwaves!
Getting there: Bus 54 runs from Charles Street, which is a short walk from Leicester Train Station. The journey takes under 30 minutes.
Run Through Abbey Park
Hugging the banks of the River Soar in the north of the city is Abbey Park – a stunning green space to relax, play ball games and enjoy Leicester’s riverside scenery.
You will find a boating lake in the centre of the park, where you can rent both rowing and pedal boats, which adults will enjoy just as much as the children.
A miniature railway loops the park offering rides and there’s even a pet’s corner, which is free to enter and has a selection of birds and other animals.
Parents can appreciate the heritage, which can be admired with a stroll around the remains of the 12th century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion.
Those families looking to get active will be excited to hear that the park has plenty of sporting facilities. There’s a bowling green, five hard surface tennis courts, orienteering courses, a lavender maze and table tennis tables, so you and the kids will have plenty to choose from.
Getting there: From Leicester Train Station, you can walk to Abbey Park in around 30 minutes. If little legs won’t make the walk, you can jump on the number 54 or 54A from Stand EG outside the station.
Moo-ve Your Way Through Gorse Hill City Farm
Open 365 days a year, rain or shine, and home to over 100 animals, Gorse Hill City Farm is the perfect place for a fun family day out!
Visitors can meet all the residents of the farm, including cows, pigs, ponies, chickens and even a collection of rare breeds. Feed can be purchased for just 50p per bag, so you can get up close and personal with the animals, whilst they nibble on your palm.
Book your child a slot to ‘Meet the Small Animals’, where they will learn all about the animals and how they are cared for. The best part of the session is when the children are allowed to hold and stroke the animals – think rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and even rats!
Take a walk around the wildlife garden and pond, and then let the children play in the outdoor play area while you unpack the picnic! There’s a gift shop with plenty of pocket money items to purchase and an education room that’s available to hire.
Getting there: There are several bus options near Leicester Railway Station, which get you to the farm in around 30 minutes. Alternatively, a taxi will take under 10 minutes.
Discover Nature & Culture at New Walk Museum
Dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, create your own earthquake; there’s plenty to do at New Walk Museum and it’s all free! The museum boasts a wide-ranging collection of displays spanning the natural and cultural world, making it one of the best things to do with kids in Leicester.
Little ‘uns under five years can let loose in the interactive Den, while older kids can follow a children’s trail.
If art’s your thing, you will find the internationally renowned exhibition of German Expressionism, Picasso ceramics from the Attenborough Collection, Gimson Arts & Craft furniture and the original Victorian gallery with works from the museum's own art collection.
The museum also welcomes a vast array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections, touring exhibitions from national museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft displays. So, check the website before you go to see what’s on!
Getting there: From Leicester Train Station, New Walk Museum is a 5-minute walk away.
There’s plenty of great things to do in Leicester with your kids. Whenever you decide to go, make sure you take advantage of great savings with CrossCountry Advance train tickets.
Written by Seb